2021 LAS Awards
Sylvia Conquest (Biology Major)
Outstanding Student Award in the Natural Sciences
Sylvia is a current undergraduate researcher in her last semester of her bachelor’s degree in biology at UCCS. She is a Colorado native that grew up northeast of Colorado Springs in Elbert, Colorado. Throughout her childhood she was encouraged to do many outdoor activities which encouraged her love of biology. Even now some of her favorite activities included cattle ranching, riding horses, camping, fishing, and archery. She has been working for the biology department since 2019 and began conducting research in Dr. Killian’s lab in January of 2020 performing genetic experiments on the model organism Drosophila melanogaster. Throughout her time at UCCS she has been a Chancellor’s Scholar, a Bruce and Anne Reach Your Peak Scholar, and a participant in the Undergraduate Research Academy. She also spent the spring of 2019 semester studying abroad in Bangkok, Thailand. In the future Sylvia would like to continue doing research and eventually continue her education in the field of biology.
Outstanding Graduate Student
Brandon is a graduate student working towards a Master of Sciences in Molecular and Cellular Biology. Before coming to UCCS, he served in the United States Marine Corps for five years. He began working in Dr. Olesnicky Killian’s lab as an undergraduate student and obtained a Bachelor of Sciences in Biology from UCCS in May 2019. He has continued to work in Dr. Olesnicky Killian’s lab during his graduate career which led to a first author publication. He was also awarded a Graduate Teaching Assistantship and has been teaching General Biology Lab to young students over the past two years. He has presented his research at local, regional, and national conferences over the entirety of his scientific career. Brandon intends to continue to contribute to the field of research as a lab technician, and perhaps one day he may choose to pursue a doctorate. However, with a strong work ethic and a diverse skillset it is certain that he will be successful in his future endeavors.
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